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2013

JOin us at NFPA's Annual Conference in Chicago Jun 10-13 as we review the results of the Foundation's research over the past year.  20 presentations will feature recently completed projects on fire fighter tactics and PPE, suppression strategies for hazardous commodities including lithium ion batteries, evacuation strategies from tall buildings, and many other topics.  We are also sponsoring a look ahead at the issues likely to affect fire and electrical safety over the next five years.

Join us!


In_compliance_240As was the case in The Station nightclub fire 10 years ago in Rhode Island, combustible insulating foam appears to have been a major factor in how the Kiss nightclub fire in Brazil began and spread, says Chip Carson in his column "Finish Issues" in the most recent issue of NFPA JournalBecause textiles placed on walls and ceilings can burn very quickly, NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, includes a number of requirements for interior finish materials. For a closer look at these requirements, including those that address cellular and foamed plastic, go to page 32 of the March/April issue of NFPA Journal or read Chip's column online.

Are continuous (also known as piano hinges) permitted on fire doors? Yes they are!  New to the 2013 edition of NFPA 80, Section 6.4.3.1, which addresses hinges, is now inclusive of hinges, spring hinges, continuous hinges and pivots.

Prior to 2013, NFPA 80 did not necessarilty prohibit the use of this hardware, rather it was silent on the issue, thus causing confusion to users as to whether or not these types of hinges were recognized by the standard.  The Technical Committee accepted a proposed change to add continuous hinges to Section 6.4.3.1 so that it was clear that they are recognized and permitted to be used on fire doors if installed properly and in accordance with the standard. 

Section 6.4.3.1.6 and 6.4.3.1.7 are also new sections specific to continuous hinges and state the following:

6.4.3.1.6 The length of continuous hinges shall be within 1 in. (25 mm) of the height of the door leaves.
6.4.3.1.7 Continuous hinges shall be labeled and shall meet the requirements of ANSI/BHMA A156.26, American National Standard for Continuous Hinges.

*You may view the current edition of NFPA 80 (and all NFPA documents!) free online by visiting the Document Information Page for NFPA 80 (shortcut www.nfpa.org/80) where you will find a link to view the current edition. 

Koslowski Cropped PhotoTracy Koslowski, public education/information
manager and fire marshal for the Drexel Heights Fire District in Tucson, Arizona, has been named the 2013 Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year.

A third generation firefighter, Koslowski began
using NFPA’s Learn Not to Burn Preschool Program in 1993 when she was a volunteer at the Tucson Fire Department. She continues to teach it. She has also taught Risk Watch and Remembering When for many years and has expanded Fire Prevention Week in Tucson into Fire Prevention Month. During the past 10 years, she has taken the campaign to all of the schools in the district, visiting more than
40,000 students.

In response to safety concerns in the community, Koslowski implemented a babysitter training course, which teaches kitchen safety, fire safety, CPR, first aid, poison  prevention, and other life safety skills. In addition, she developed the Fire Fit Cadet Program, which includes basic firefighting skills, fire and life safety training, physical fitness, and nutrition classes. Drawing guidance from NFPA’s Remembering When program, Koslowski created the Senior Citizen Fire Academy. She also created the Public Education Volunteer Team to keep the district’s public education programs operating in the face of budget constraints.

Koslowski will receive a $1,000 honorarium and will be flown to Chicago in June for an award presentation at the Opening General Session of the annual NFPA Conference & Expo. Drexel Heights Fire District will receive a $1,000 donation to support public education activities.

NFPA 72Non-fire alarm systems--elevator shutdown and release of electrically locked doors, for example--can work in harmony with a building's fire alarm system, if code provisions are properly applied. Adhering to these requirements ensures vital fire protection and provides important building emergency control functions, says Wayne Moore in his latest NFPA Journal column.

Moore also discusses how NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, guides this process. "Fire alarm systems provide a vital fire protection function when they interface with non-fire alarm systems to provide important building emergency control functions or to monitor the safe operation of industrial processes,"  he says.

Learn more in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal.

NFPA’s Authenticity Program has just been launched. Using an Authenticity Stamp (an example of which is pictured to the right), users and customers can make sure that digital copies of NFPA documents have not been altered in any way. This stamp will appear on the digital copies each time codes are downloaded from NFPA.

The stamp contains a customer’s identification number and is a link to a verification database. When the link is clicked, the document will be verified by sending the user to a website that displays customer and code information. If the document does not have the Authenticity Stamp, or if any of the information is incorrect, or there is no link to www.nfpa.org, the downloaded document is unauthorized and may be inaccurate.  In that case, discontinue the use of that particular digital code or standards, and contact NFPA customer service for assistance. 

 

For more information about the NFPA Authenticity Program, visit www.nfpa.org/authenticate.  

Incident action planPop quiz: What are the three factors firefighters must consider when responding to an incident? (Sorry, this question isn't multiple choice.)

If the answer is escaping you, refresh your memory by reading the latest column from NFPA Journal columnists Ben Klaene and Russ Sanders, who discuss how an effective incident action plan (IAP) addresses these three factors. (Bonus points to those who knew the correct answer: life safety, extinguishment, and property conservation.)

"The development of an IAP using the sound application of risk management techniques is critical to meeting these three priorities," says the authors. An effective tool for conducting a risk-versus-benefit analysis, they add, is NFPA 1500, Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program.

Learn other specifics for developing an effective IAP in the March/April edition of NFPA Journal.

Okay, bear with me on this one because I have young children. Not too long ago, my kids and I watched an episode of the Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss entitled “Oh, The People You’ll Meet.”  Images It was about a boy and the Cat in the Hat traveling in a magic elevator and meeting interesting people that might play a role in the boy’s future. This got me thinking about the NFPA C&E and how the people you meet at this event might impact your future. The impact could be profound, such as if a meeting leads to a new job or a new employee…or, the impact could be less monumental, but still important, such as learning something in an education session that will save you time and money back on the job.

While I can’t tell you all the ways your future will be affected by  the people you’ll meet at this year’s conference,  I think I’m safe in saying you will definitely be able to learn something new from them. 

Oh, the people you’ll meet include thought leaders that come from across the country and around the world to present at the C&E. Why, the Fire & Emergency Services and Public Education tracks alone have presenters from 16 different states, 2 Canadian provinces, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates!

Read Erik Holden's complete post on our Conference & Expo blog.

Hydrogen refuelingThe latest Fire Protection Research Foundation report. "Hydrogen Refueling Code Gap Assessment" authored by FP2FIRE, Inc. has just been published. 
 
As part of its goal to support the development of codes and standards for hydrogen technology, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory requested that the Foundation conduct a study to identify gaps and conflicts in current codes and standards addressing the construction permitting of refueling stations for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) as well as other hydrogen facilities. Once these conflicts and gaps are recognized, proposed resolutions for the relevant codes and standards are provided.

In general, the requirements within relevant codes and standards should be harmonized in order to simplify the planning, design and construction requirements for gaseous hydrogen refueling stations from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. This harmonization has already been accomplished to a large degree due to the continued efforts of the responsible Technical Committees (TCs). This report offers a fresh look at the current requirements and offers suggestions for the continued improvement of hydrogen codes and standards.

Download the complete report to read about the current requirements and suggestions. Below, a video with Martin Gresho, P.E., FP2FIRE, Inc. (one of the project's contractors) discusses this report. 


Heads_up_240How do high-volume low-speed (HVLS) fans affect the placement of sprinklers in buildings such as warehouses and other large, open spaces? According to Matt Klaus in his column "Heads Up" in the most recent issue of NFPA Journal, NFPA’s Technical Committee for Sprinkler System Discharge Criteria first discused he impact of HVLS fans before the publication of the 2010 edition of NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems. Because the committee had no data on the subject, however, the published standard included no design requirements. 

The following year, the Fire Protection Research Foundation stepped up to find some answers, setting up a project to study the effects of HVLS fans on sprinkler performance in full-scale testing scenarios. The findings of the study were presented to the discharge committee, which used the information to develop a new set of design rules pertaining to this equipment for the 2013 edition of NFPA 13.

For more, turn to page 28 in your March/April issue of NFPA Journal or read Matt's column on line.

 

The latest issue of NFPA Journal  features "Safety by Design", the story of IKEA's safety research program. Recent Foundation research is highlighted in that story- but gaps remain in the information needed to provide a cost effective solution for IKEA and other retailers and storage companies whose inventory includes these commodities.


This week, the Foundation will meet with sprinkler companies, insurers, and companies like IKEA, to determine the next steps in this research program.  Stay tuned for more interesting results.


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Springfield Fire Department from Springfield, Massachusetts, is the winner of the 2013 Rolf H.Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant . The $5,000 grant will support the department’s “Multi-Language Public Education Fire Safety Initiative”concentrating on Springfield’s growing population of Somali, Russian, Nepali,Vietnamese, and Latino immigrants. The initiative will also reach out to residents over the age of 65.


Springfield has experienced a sharp decline in industry, jobs, and population over the past few decades and has one of the highest rates of concentrated poverty in the United States. In 2010, 88 percent of building fires took place in residential properties, with unattended cooking or unsafe cooking practices accounting for 61 percent. English is spoken as a second language in 34 percent of households, compared with 21 percent statewide.


Fire safety programs will be conducted primarily at cultural and community centers. The program will be evaluated using a three-part approach: a before-and-after comparison of volume of emergency responses, instructor evaluations, and a10-question survey completed by residents.

 

 

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Do you want to make a difference? We have an ideal opportunity our of the Quincy, MA headquarters for an Associate Engineer that provides technical support to assigned projects. The idea candidate would work under close supervision and within clearly defined guidelines as established by the NFPA Regulations Governing Committee Project. He or she would also serve as a focal point for advisory services and related areas in support of the technical subjects relating to the committee assignments. 


Principal responsibilities for this position include: 


    • Technical Committee– Manages basic technical committee
      activities and projects throughout document development process, serving to
      provide technical assistance with compliance with the NFPA Standards
      Development Process.

    • Product Development – Collaborates with and assists senior
      staff with compilation of information and review for product development
      activities within the area of expertise.

    • Technical Services – Provides basic technical services in
      support of internal and external association activities within their area of
      expertise to support the adoption and use of the assigned standards; ensures
      consistency with NFPA positions.

    • Cross functional activities – Participates in related
      association cross functional activities providing technical review and input
      within area of expertise to meet association goals.

    • Special Projects – Manages special projects as assigned.

    • Budgetary Criteria – Provides required budgetary information
      for assigned projects.


 Requirements for this position include a Bachelors degree in chemical or mechanical engineering, the ability to prepare correspondence, data and presentation materials using
Microsoft Office and 0 – 3 years experience.

Apply now ! 

Home firesWhether it's flammable furniture or sustainable construction, today's homes present a series of fire safety challenges that warrant a closer examination. Last year, Kathleen Almand, executive director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation attended an event sponsored by the U.S. Fire Administration that explored responses to these potential threats.

In her latest NFPA Journal column, Almand discusses how she and other researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Underwriters Laboratories, and other organizations outlined the dangers the fire service may face when responding to today's home fires. Another task was to develop an action plan that could guide future research on this issue.

"Much of the Foundation's research program already focuses on how new technology affects fire hazards and changes to NFPA codes and standards," says Almand. "Perhaps this new initiative will accelerate implementation of that work into the home fire safety arena."

Read the entire column in March/April edition of NFPA Journal.

As the name implies, NFPA 80 provides requirements for more than just fire doors.  The installation, inspection, testing, and maintenance of other opening protectives such as fire windows, glass block assemblies, fabric fire safety curtains and fire dampers are also included within the scope of NFPA 80.

 

Three editions ago (2007), the requirements for the installation, inspection, testing, and maintenace of fire dampers were moved from NFPA 90A to NFPA 80.  One of the questions I get asked most often is with regards to the inspection and test frequency of fire dampers.  Like all opening protectives, continued maintenance and inspection is critical and will help ensure that the doors, windows, shutters, dampers, etc.  will operate properly under fire conditions.

 

First, an  operational test must be completed after the installation of the fire damper is complete.  Then, each fire damper must be tested and inspected one year after the installation.  After that one year mark, fire dampers must then be tested and inspected every four years except for hospitals which have a six year frequency.

 

This begs a follow up question:  why the difference in the testing and inspection frequency between hospitals and other types of building uses?

 

Most users expect provisions related to hospitals to be more restrictive than for other types of buildings. The healthcare industry presented the technical committee with significant evidence that a four-year inspection frequency for fire dampers in hospitals, in these buildings, is a hindrance. Hospitals are unique in that they have many building systems critical to the life safety and health of their occupants (patients). Personnel accessing fire dampers every four years would entail the risk of interfering with or potentially damaging the many systems (HVAC, medical gas systems, sprinkler piping, electrical systems) that are located near the fire dampers and above ceilings. The six-year frequency allows for a reasonable but safe length of time between inspections and also ensures the integrity of the hospital operations.

 

Additional details regarding the inspection criteria and documentation can be found in Chapter 19 of NFPA 80.

Webinar 3.28
The fire service and other emergency first responders are currently benefiting from enhanced-existing and newly-developed electronic technologies for use with personal protective equipment (PPE) ensembles. Protective ensembles used by emergency first responders include or will soon include electronics such as communications, GPS and tracking, environmental sensing, physiological sensing, and other components now becoming practical solutions at emergency events.

This webinar summarizes the results of a recent research study by the Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) whose goal was to develop performance requirements for the compatibility and interoperability of electronic equipment used by fire service and other emergency first responders.

The webinar will be held from 12:30 - 2:00pm ET on March 28th, is sponsored by the Fire Protection Research Foundation, and will be led by Casey Grant, Research Director of the FPRF. 

Register now!


Firewatch_600A two-story office building, which had no fire alarms or sprinklers, was heavily damaged by a fire that began in a concealed roof void and spread undetected until it was discovered by a passerby at 5:31 a.m. Firefighters arriving five minutes later    found low-hanging smoke covering the roadway near the building. During the    fire officer’s initial size-up, he reported smoke coming from the roof and    visible through the glass on the second floor. Using a thermal imaging    camera, he also noted significant heat build-up near the ceiling and roof.

Crews advanced a hose line up a stairwell to    the second floor, where they encountered heavy smoke and saw an orange glow    near the floor. A quick blast of water knocked the fire down, but visibility    dropped sharply as the smoke increased. When firefighters heard what sounded    like a collapsing roof, they retreated and called for ventilation.

Using a positive-pressure fan to clear    away the smoke, firefighters laid additional hose lines and pulled down the    ceiling in an attempt to locate the seat of the fire. As they moved toward a    corner of the building, they found fire at the ceiling. A glued, laminated    ceiling beam had partially collapsed, and fire consumed an office. Firefighters’    attempts to knock the office fire down were unsuccessful.

Crews had just changed their air cylinders    and returned to the building with larger hose lines when the incident    commander ordered everyone from the building. Once everyone was accounted    for, the commander ordered all hose lines to be positioned defensively. By    the time the fire was finally brought under control several hours later,    nearly the entire roof had burned off or collapsed into the second floor. Portions    of the second floor also collapsed into the first floor.

Investigators discovered that the fire    began in the ceiling above an office, but they couldn’t determine the cause    of the fire due to the extent of damage. The building, valued at $2 million,    and its contents, valued at $750,000, were destroyed. 

For more such incidents, read "Firewatch" in the most recent issue of NFPA Journal.

Webinar 3.28
The fire service and other emergency first responders are currently benefiting from enhanced-existing and newly-developed electronic technologies for use with personal protective equipment (PPE) ensembles. Protective ensembles used by emergency first responders include or will soon include electronics such as communications, GPS and tracking, environmental sensing, physiological sensing, and other components now becoming practical solutions at emergency events.

This webinar summarizes the results of a recent research study by the Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) whose goal was to develop performance requirements for the compatibility and interoperability of electronic equipment used by fire service and other emergency first responders.

The webinar will be held from 12:30 - 2:00pm ET on March 28th, is sponsored by the Fire Protection Research Foundation, and will be led by Casey Grant, Research Director of the FPRF. 

Register now!

 

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Calling all Coloradans - grab a friend, your entire family, or join a group of neighbors and participate in the statewide Wildfire Preparedness Day of Service on Saturday, May 4, 2013.  The date coincides with the International Association of Wildland Fire’s (IAWF) Global Wildfire Awareness Week .  Colorado is *NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations Division’s* pilot state for this coordinated project.  


Make your actions speak loudly – commit a couple of hours or an entire day and see how your personal efforts contribute to reducing the wildfire risk in your community.  Enlist the help of a friend, relative, or group of classmates and get something GREAT accomplished!  Challenge a club, school athletic team or youth organization to develop a project too, and see who can make the largest impact. 


 

Potential projects span a wide range of possibilities – some require physical energy and others can be as simple as talking with or texting important information to neighbors and friends.  You may choose to invest time at your own home doing a project with family members, or choose to organize a group to participate in a neighbor-to-neighbor activity for someone who needs physical assistance completing their Firewise tasks.  Perhaps, a totally different path is more aligned with how you want to serve your community – and there’s plenty of options for that too: hold a garage sale and donate the proceeds to the local fire department’s wildland fire team or use the money to pay for a neighborhood chipping day.  Another option is to set-up a table at a shopping center and distribute f*ree wildfire education information*.The scope can be large or small – you decide the details.  


 

The *Wildfire Preparedness Day of Service* is open to participants of all ages, with a special outreach effort being made to teens – middle school age and older.  A broad-range of age appropriate project ideas has been developed and is available at Firewise.org/dayofservice.  Each one was created to be easily accomplishable in a single day. The event is being promoted through NFPA’s Firewise.org , [Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/firewise[ | https://www.facebook.com/firewise]and Twitter  sites; with opportunities for coordinated local group projects to be added to our project locator map.  Additional outreach is being coordinated by the Colorado State Forest Service, [READYColorado | http://www.readycolorado.com/][, | http://www.readycolorado.com/] the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management , the Mile High Chapter of the Red Cross , and the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association . 


 

Share photos and details of what you're planning and who's particiapting on both our Facebook  page  and yours. Your ideas could motivate others to follow your lead!


 

As evidenced each year during October’s annual&#0160;*Fire Prevention Week*, there’s enormous strength in motivating individuals to implement fire safety actions on a designated day; and a coordinated day of wildfire preparedness is an opportunity to increase awareness while reducing risk.&#0160; Service days engage communities into taking action and provide a mechanism for individuals to help with important local issues.</p>

-Cathy Prudhomme

Brazil fire
Outside the Boate Kiss nightclub on January 27. So far the fire has claimed 239 lives, making it the deadliest fire in Brazil in more than 50 years. (Photo: AP/Wide World)

The devastating fire at the Boate Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil, killed nearly 240 people--most of them students--and has become the third-deadliest nightclub fire in world history.

NFPA representatives saw the devastation firsthand during a recent trip to the college town and met with fire officials to discuss how NFPA can help expedite the adoption of more stringent fire protection and life safety codes.

NFPA Journal executive editor Scott Sutherland recentlly interviewed NFPA's Jim Dolan and fire protection consultant Jaime Moncada about their recent trip. "We met with the fire marshal for the state [of Rio de Janeiro], and right away he said, 'We don't want to reinvent the wheel. It would be expeditious if we could adapt your codes,'" Moncada told Sutherland. "We are very encouraged by this--we have a window here and it may represent an opportunity for adoption of NFPA codes in Brazil."

Read the full story in Journal's new issue, and check out the other In A Flash items (which follow the Brazil story), including a new video game that's getting fire safety experts heated and the Fire Protection Research Foundation's analyses on lithium-ion batteries.

BrazilfireAn overcrowded nightclub, pyrotechnics, a raging fire, no sprinklers, too few exits, horrendous losses: the deadly fire at the Kiss nightclub in Brazil last January sounded all a lot like The Station nightclub fire 10 years earlier in Rhode Island, says NFPA President Jim Shannon in his "First Word" column in the March/April issue of NFPA Journal. 

"NFPA’s mission is to save lives and protect property from fire and other hazards," Shannon says. "It is disheartening to see tragedies like these, because we know that the lessons learned from our past experiences can prevent them."

Fortunately, technology has made it easier for NFPA to reach people all over the world with our expertise in fire prevention and protection, and "it is our obligation to work even harder to make NFPA a global force for fire safety," says Shannon. "We have been asked to provide technical advice to the State of Rio de Janeiro as it revises its fire code, and we are sending technical staff there to help as officials review their codes. We hope we can provide similar help across Brazil."

Marine_chemist_600Only when an NFPA-certificated marine chemist has certified an area of a ship as safe can anyone enter and begin the work of repairing that ship, says Lawrence Russell in his article "Vigilant Eye" in the most recent issue of NFPA Journal. The U.S. Coast Guard and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration both require a marine chemist certificate before shipboard repair can begin. 

This year is the 50th anniversary of NFPA’s decision to administer the Certificated Marine Chemist Program. It also marks the completion of the 20th revision of NFPA 306, Control of Gas Hazards on Vessels, and the development of NFPA 350, Guide for Safe Confined Space Entry and Work, a new document that focuses on creating best practices for working in and around confined spaces. For more on the new guide, go to page 58 in your copy of the March/April issue of NFPA Journal or read the article online

March Insider

NFPA members only! Register today for the next NFPA Insider presentation being held on March 21 at 2pm (EST). 

NFPA President Jim Shannon will give his first word as always. In this episode's 'Up to Code' segment, Carolyn Cronin from NFPA Codes and Standards Administration discusses the latest codes and standards information and activities. In the NFPA Journal Live piece, Steve Wolin, author of the March/April Journal cover story, discuss IKEA's efforts to help develop NFPA 13 sprinkler protection criteria for in-rack storage of exposed expanded plastics. And, lots more! Here's a preview:

 

NFPA INSIDER is a live, bi-monthly online session that features expanded news and content from the latest issue of NFPA Journal® and other NFPA sources. Not an NFPA member? Join today.

[The Fire Adapted Communities | http://fireadapted.org/] (FAC) Coalition has announced the release of a new report, “Lessons from Waldo Canyon” and a companion video, “Creating Fire Adapted Communities:  A Case Study from Colorado Springs and the Waldo Canyon Fire.”  The post-fire field report and video are a first from the FAC coalition.


 

http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017c37da3c5c970b-pi



In the wake of last summer’s tragic Waldo Canyon Fire which destroyed 345 homes and resulted in the evacuation of more than 30,000 residents from the City of Colorado Springs, Colorado, members of the Fire Adapted Communities Coalition visited the area to learn how the city’s decade-long wildfire safety programs had affected the outcome of the fire. The final report and video are the result of interviews, field visits and tours of the city’s most affected neighborhoods conducted by the Coalition’s assessment team during the three-day visit to the area in July 2012.


 

With support from the U.S. Forest Service , the mitigation assessment team, comprised of representatives from the Coalition including the [Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety | http://ibhs.org/] (IBHS), the International Association of Fire Chiefs  (IAFC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), worked closely with the Colorado Springs Fire Marshal's Wildfire Mitigation Section  and the Colorado State Forest Service


[Watch the video and download the report from the FAC website | http://fireadapted.org/].


According to Pam Leschak, WUI/Fire Adapted Communities program manager for the USDA Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management, “The mitigation tools used by the Colorado Springs Fire Marshal’s Wildfire Mitigation Section for the last 10 years mirrored, to a large extent, the recommendations of the Fire Adapted Communities program. The findings of the report conclude that the damage to the city as a result of the Waldo Canyon Fire would have been far more wide-spread if these practices weren’t put into place.”


 

Learn more about Fire Adapted Communities, the Coalition and the programs and resources it offers by visiting the website at www.fireadapted.org .


 

Additional information about the "Lessons from Waldo Canyon" report are available by contacting IBHS .</p>

Each year, NFPA’s Fire Analysis and Research group sends out a fire experience survey to over 20,000 U.S. fire departments protecting larger communities with populations of 50,000 or more, and to a sample of departments protecting smaller communities to collect data on their fire experience.   Now through the end of May, the survey forms will be collected by mail and e-mail, and the results will produce estimates on the overall fire problem in the U.S.   Statistics on the number of fires and associated losses, fire department calls, data by region and community size, as well information on firefighter injuries will be published in the September/October issue of NFPA Journal and in the annual fire loss in the U.S. report.   Read more about the fire loss report. 

The survey would not be possible without the help of the U.S. fire departments and we are truly appreciative of the fire departments that receive a survey form and respond.

 

ESPN SportsCenter anchor Hannah Storm vividly recalls a gas grill explosion that resulted in first- and second-degree burns on her body: &quot;The explosion was so great that it blew the doors off the grill,&quot; she tells +NFPA Journal+ in the latest issue. &quot;My neighbor...thought the explosion was actually a tree falling through his own roof. I remember seeing the fire and then being on fire and rushing to put it out.&quot;


 

Following the harrowing incident, Storm made a miraculous return to TV and has become NFPA&#39;s newest grilling safety advocate. Through a series of public service announcements, she urges the public to read their grill&#39;s safety instructions and wait 15 minutes before relighting a grill if the flame goes out. (Review NFPA&#39;s tip sheet on grilling safety for more information.)


 

Learn more about Storm&#39;s recovery in the March/April issue of +Journal,+ and watch the following video of Storm being interviewed at the ESPN studios in Bristol, Connecticut:


The Foundation has initiated two projects whose focus is on the impact of green technology on fire safety.

The first, on high rise timber structures, will explore this emerging global construction technique and available data on fire safety considerations. Recent architectural trends include the design and construction of increasingly tall buildings with structural components comprised of laminated wood.  Construction is currently underway on a 10‐story apartment building in Melbourne, Australia, with taller structures up to 30 stories under design in Norway, Austria and Vancouver.  These buildings are cited for their advantages in sustainability resulting from the use of wood as a renewable construction material.

The Foundation has initiated a Phase 1 project on this topic that includes a literature review to collect information on high rise timber framed buildings and a gap analysis. Read the project summary.

The second project, on exterior walls with combustible insulation, will explore common fire scenarios and appropriate fire test methods. Many combustible materials are used today in commercial wall assemblies to improve energy performance, reduce water and air infiltration, and allow for aesthetic design flexibility. These assemblies include Exterior Insulation Finish Systems (EIFS), metal composite claddings, high-pressure laminates, and weather-resistive barriers (WRB). The combustibility of the assembly components directly impacts the fire hazard.  There have been a number of documented fire incidents involving combustible exterior walls, but a better understanding is needed of the specific scenarios leading to these incidents to inform current test methods and potential mitigating strategies. Read the project summary.

We blogged last week about the the [National Volunteer Fire Council | http://www.nvfc.org/](NVFC) and [NFPA | http://www.nfpa.org/] developing
a guide to assist departments in understanding and implementing NFPA
standards. 



In a new video, NFPA’s Ken Willette gives an overview of the
guide, which addresses NFPA 1500, NFPA 1720 and NFPA 1851. Watch the video bleow; for more detail,
read the earlier blog
post
.


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NFPA 1620The NFPA Technical Committee responsible for NFPA 1620, Standard for Pre-Incident Planning, will be meeting April 16-18 in San Antonio. The committee will be reviewing Public Inputs to change the existing document language and the committee will be reviewing the entire documents for possible changes and if necessary any re-structuring of the document.Anyone with an interest in pre-incident planning or the NFPA code-development process is welcome to attend. NFPA's Orlando Hernandez has the details.

Canada EVCanada is in the midst of a push to increase the number of electric vehicles (EV) on its roads. However, with this new influx of electric cars, emergency responders will invariably need training in how to deal with them. NFPA is working with the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) to adapt NFPA’s American first responder EV training program to better suit Canadian needs.

The SCC sees this as a necessary effort to address the gap in emergency responder training. The training packages will be available to the provinces in mid-2013. They include online resources as well as Train-the-Trainer sessions. For more information, read the full NFPA press release.

At its March 2013 meeting, the NFPA Standards Council considered the issuance of several proposed Tentative Interim Amendments (TIA).  The following TIAs on NFPA 58, NFPA 59A, NFPA 99, NFPA 1001, NFPA 1124, NFPA 1917, NFPA 1971, and NFPA 2112 were issued by the Council on March 7, 2013:

  • NFPA 58, TIA 11-4, referencing 11.1.1, A.11.1.1, and 11.15.2  
  • NFPA 59A, TIA 13-1, referencing Table 15.6.1 and Table 15.8.4.1
  • NFPA 99, TIA 12-4, referencing 5.1.1.6, 5.2.1.2, and 5.3.1.1.2
  • NFPA 1001, TIA 13-1, referencing 4.1(3)
  • NFPA 1124, TIA 13-2, referencing 2.2, 6.1.3, 6.5.1,
    6.5.1.1, 6.5.1.2, 7.3.1.1, 7.3.1.2, 7.3.6, 7.3.7, 7.3.7.1, 7.4.4.2, 7.4.5.1, 7.5.4, A.6.5.1, A.6.5.1.1, A.7.3.6, A.7.3.7, A.7.5.1.1, and Index
  • NFPA 1917, TIA 13-1, referencing 4.12.3
  • NFPA 1917, TIA 13-2, referencing 4.17, 4.17.1, 4.17.2, and 4.17.3
  • NFPA 1971, TIA 13-2, referencing various sections
  • NFPA 2112, TIA 12-1, referencing 7.1.5.1 and 7.1.5.2

Tentative Interim Amendments (TIAs) are amendments to an NFPA document processed in accordance with Section 5 of the Regulations Governing Committee Projects.They have not gone through the entire standards development process of being published in an ROP and ROC for review and comment. TIAs are effective only between editions of the document. A TIA automatically becomes a proposal for the next edition of the document, as such is then subject to all of the procedures of the standards development process.  TIAs are published in NFPA News, NFCSS, and any further distribution of the document after being issued by the Standards Council.

Today, we celebrate Sparky the Fire Dog's birthday! Of course, Sparky likes to remind us (as shown in the video) that it is a good time to brush up on our fire safety tips, and he is correct! 

Sparky cake bossOn a lighter note, birthdays are a great time for fun and celebration! Remember Sparky's 60th birthday two years ago when we had Carlo's Bakery (home of TLC's The Cake Boss) make an amazing cake just for his special day?! 

Also, our Sparky the Fire Dog party kit provides everything you need to create a special day for your own little firefighter! We have even provided photos to give you ideas on how to bring your party to life. These free DIY party plans are downloadable pdfs and include pages of tutorials and party instructions. You will find everything from the party to-do list, invitations, thank you cards, birthday banner, cupcake toppers, name tags, water bottle wrappers, games and more. 

Sparky party kit

See more fun ways we have celebrated Sparky's birthday in the past, and be sure to wish Sparky a happy birthday on his Facebook page!

FSI newsletterThe dangers of lightweight construction when exposed to fire are documented in several studies. An NFPA Journal® cover story highlights UL studies on lightweight construction and the threat it poses to firefighters. The new issue of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter takes a closer look at lightweight construction and the relationship between fire and engineered wood construction assemblies.

Also in this issue:

  • Manufactured housing committee considers fire sprinklers
  • Fire Marshal Tony Apfelbeck talks about financial incentives for sprinkler installations
  • Getting homebuilders on board with fire sprinklers
  • Ten tips for communicating with legislators
  • NFPA 13D: Update on sloped ceilings

Subscribe today to automatically receive our monthly Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. It's free, informative, and will keep you up to date on anti-sprinkler legislation, our advocacy efforts, and other sprinkler-related news.

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee97cb3ca970d-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee97cb3ca970d-800wi|alt=Devil in the White City|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Devil in the White City|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee97cb3ca970d!Are you interested in learning about Chicago, the host city to the 2013 NFPA Conference &amp; Expo ?&#0160; Or maybe you&#39;re just looking for a good book to read. In the coming weeks, NFPA&#39;s Linda Bailey is highlighting some of the customer top-rated (four and five star) books about Chicago from Amazon.com. Her pick this week is &quot;[Devil In the White City | http://conference.blog.nfpa.org/2013/03/am.html]", the true tale of the 1893 World&#39;s Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death.

Safety Source newsletterThe March 2013 issue of "Safety Source", NFPA’s monthly public education e-newsletter, is now available. This issue includes information on NFPA's partnership with Cupcake Digital, the creators of the new Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! app to offer fire safety tips to kids and families. The app, Wubbzy's Fire Engine Adventure, is based on episodes of the Emmy-winning Nick Jr. TV series “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!”

The issue also includes a new safety tip sheet - this time, on outdoor electrical safety. And we also offer tips on how to make emergency evacuation planning a part of every student's Individual Education Program (IEP).

Sign up today to receive our free monthly e-newsletter. "Safety Source" will give you the latest information on happenings in the public education division, Ready for Risk Watch® news, Remembering When™ activities, fire statistics, trends, educational tips, life saves, and more.

Trick question!  The answer to this week's FAQ isn't actually found in NFPA 80, but rather NFPA 1, Fire Code, NFPA 101, Life Safety Code or NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code.

The scope of NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, addresses the installation, inspection, testing, and maintenance of the opening protectives.  Prior to applying the requirements of NFPA 80, one must first determine if a fire rated opening protective is required and what the required fire protection rating is of that opening. 

And that's where NFPA 1, 101, and 5000 come into play. 

All three of these documents contain a table (Table 12.7.4.2 in NFPA 1, Table 8.3.4.2 in NFPA 101, and Table 8.7.2 in NFPA 5000) in which the minimum fire protecton rating is provided based upon the fire resistance rating of a component that was mandated somewhere in the Code.  For example, an occupancy chapter may mandate a 1 hour fire resistance rating for their corridors.  The tables provided in the Codes state that based upon an exit access corridor with a 1 hour fire resistance rating, a 20 minute fire protection rated door is required.  A 2 hour fire resistance rated exit enclosure requires a 90 minute fire protection rated door, etc. 

The tables referenced above provide much more than just the minimum fire protection ratings.  New to the 2012 editions of NFPA 1, NFPA 101, and NFPA 5000, these tables were expanded to include provisions for glazing size and labeling. 

Happy Friday!

The First Draft Reports for 30 NFPA documents in the Annual 2014 revision cycle are now available.  Review the First Draft Reports for use as background in the submission of public comments. The deadline to submit a public comment on any of these documents is May 3, 2013. Some of the proposed NFPA documents with First Draft Reports in the Annual 2014 revision cycle are as follows:

  • NFPA 1, Fire Code
  • NFPA 3, Recommended Practice on Commissioning and Integrated Testing of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems
  • NFPA 4, Standard for Integrated Fire Protection and Life Safety System Testing
  • NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code
  • NFPA 54, National Fuel Gas Code
  • NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®
  • NFPA 90A, Standard for the Installation of Air-Conditioning and Ventilating Systems
  • NFPA 99,  Health Care Facilities Code
  • NFPA 101, Life Safety Code®
  • NFPA 484, Standard for Combustible Metals
  • NFPA 2113, Standard on Selection, Care, Use, and Maintenance of Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire
  • NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code®

See the full list of documents in the Annual 2014 revision cycle.

The First Draft Report serves as documentation of the Input Stage and is published for public review and comment. The First Draft Report contains a compilation of the First Draft of the NFPA Standard, First Revisions, Public Input, Committee Input, Committee Statements, and Ballot Results and Statements. Where applicable, the First Draft Report also contains First Correlating Revisions, Correlating Notes, and Correlating Input.

A lot of people hear the NFPA name and immediately think of codes and standards. Others think of training seminars related to the codes and standards. What you may not know is that NFPA offers four different professional certification programs including:

Certified Fire Protection Specialist

Certified Fire Plan Examiner I

Certified Fire Inspector I

Certified Fire Inspector II

What does a certification from NFPA mean to your career and your community? Here's a quick profile of one of our Certified Fire Protection Specialists.

Name: Peter Cutrer, CFPS, CFI I, II and CFPE 200x200 PCutrer (3)

Title: Fire Marshal

Location: Sanford, ME

Industry: Public Safety/Fire Department

Where and when did you take your last NFPA certification class?

New Jersey - two years ago

How has NFPA certification changed your career?

"I have been able to provide plans review for the city of Sanford and also teach other area towns on the principles of inspection/review."

"I was appointed to serve on two technical committees for NFPA."

"The biggest benefit of NFPA certification is being self confident in my code decisions as well as offer code approved alternatives to the customer."

Ikea_600The challenges the retail giant IKEA faces in the design, construction, maintenance, and protection of its stores around the world are enormous, according to Steve Wolin, P.E.

"IKEA’s own design standards help bring consistency to the level of safety in those stores, which are built to a wide variety of local construction requirements," says Wolin in his article "IKEA: Big Retailer Storage Hazard Challenge" in the latest issue of NFPA Journal. And IKEA’s desire to expand ensures that "fresh challenges are never far away." 

As part of its effort to provide the best protection possible for its stores and customers, IKEA co-sponsored a series of tests in 2012, organized through the Fire Protection Research Foundation, to develop protection criteria for exposed expanded plastics stored in racks. Those criteria would be considered for inclusion in NFPA 13, Installation of Sprinkler Systems, and used in hundreds of IKEA stores around the world. 

Pearsall_600Ever wonder who invented the ionization smoke detector? David Lucht, P.E., FSPE tells you who and how in his article "Where There's Smoke" in the latest issue of NFPA Journal

 As Lucht notes, ionization smoke detection wasn’t new. But Duane Pearsall was the first to realize that the basic technology in the ion meter his engineer, Lyman Blackwell, had put together in 1963 to remove electrostatic charges in commercial and industrial applications "held the potential for a new kind of smoke detector." Over the past 50 years, Pearsall's work has had a profound influence on fire safety around the world, saving tens of thousands of lives that might otherwise have been lost to fire.

David-lucht-photo_600
Late last week, I traveled to Worcester Polytechnic University to interview David Lucht, the founder of the school's Fire Protection Department.  Professor Lucht is the author of "Where There's Smoke" - a feature in the upcoming issue of NFPA Journal. The story chronicles Duane Pearsall's unintended "discovery" of a technology that launched a revolution in affordable home smoke alarms, and his subsequent efforts to bring the device to market. In this photo, Professor Lucht holds an example Pearsall's first smoke detector (circa 1972).  Crude by today's standards, It was combined a number of innovations (portable, affordable, and battery-operated) that made it hugely successful with the American public and helped save thousands of lives.

Both the video interview with David, and the story will be available later this week, so stay tuned.

Standards GuideThe National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and NFPA have teamed up to develop a guide to assist departments in understanding and implementing NFPA standards. "Understanding and Implementing Standards" examines three major NFPA standards relating to safety and health and offers clarification, identifies manageable steps, and highlights available resources to help departments reach their safety goals. Information regarding the standards making process is also provided.http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files//PDF/CodesStandards/NFPA_Standards_Guide_1500_1720_1851.pdf

Download a free copy of Understanding and Implementing Standards (PDF, 10 MB).

The guide breaks down the following standards:

  • NFPA 1500; Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program
  • NFPA 1720; Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations and Special Operations to the Public by Volunteer Fire Departments
  • NFPA 1851; Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting

In addition to the guide, the NVFC has created an online resource center highlighting documents and tools that can assist a department in implementing these standards. The resource center also promotes the sharing of best practices by providing sample SOPs/SOGs and first hand accounts from departments who have implemented the standards.

Neafpsd

The requirements for using antifreeze in a sprinkler system have been constantly changing over the past few years. For New Englanders (or anyone willing to drive/fly/ski to New England) looking for a comprehensive look at the "how and why" behind these changes and an update on where NFPA 13, 13R , 13D and 25 landed on this topic, I will be presenting this information at the 11th Biennial Fire Protection Systems Product Show held in Randolph, MA this thursday at 3:00 PM. For more information, or to register for this event, visit the New England Association of Fire Protection System Designers website at www.neafpsd.com.

I have two dogs and they love any kind of treats.  As a matter of fact, they go bonkers for them.  Sparky the Fire Dog loves treats too and it's his birthday so we're celebrating all month long.  For Sparky’s party, we made some easy dog treats.  So why not throw a party for your dog? 

Check out Sparky.org for the cool-to-dos and check out Sparky the Fire Dog’s party kit that provides everything you need to create a special day for your little firefighter!

A_March_Treats

- April Briggs

At this year’s C&E you can get a small taste of what it is like to train like a fire fighter. NFPA is offering you the opportunity to spend the day at Chicago’s Robert J. Quinn Fire Academy. http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee8f7717f970d-pihttp://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee8f77243970d-pihttp://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee8f76d2e970d-piCpfta-trainingYou will start the day with a brief overview of how NFPA standards are applied within the fire service. After that (and after you sign the waivers holding NFPA harmless of course), you’ll don personal protective equipment and participate in several training evolutions. You won’t be entering burning buildings, but you will be advancing hose lines up a staircase, performinhttp://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee8f77243970d-pig search and rescue, using extinguishers on flammable liquid fires, performing an exterior fire attack http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee8f77243970d-piand getting an overview on fire apparatus.  NFPA staff participated in a similar program at the Massachusetts Fire Academy. Check out this video to see what it is all about. If you're interested in joining NFPA for this unique opportunity register now, because space is limited.

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef0167639ac5dc970b-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef0167639ac5dc970b-120wi|alt=Clock|title=Clock|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef0167639ac5dc970b!

To kick off Daylight Savings Time, clocks “spring forward” at 2am Sunday morning. Before everyone goes to bed tomorrow, they'll change all of the clocks throughout their homes to reflect the time change. NFPA wants to remind everyone that this might also be a good time to change the batteries in all of your home's smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. 


To stay safe, replacing batteries in all smoke alarms should be done at least once a year, but changing them while changing all of your clocks serves as a great reminder. In addition, smoke alarms should be tested once a month and if an alarm “chirps”, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.


[For more smoke alarm safety tips, check out our downloadable tip sheet | http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?categoryID=1647&itemID=39905&URL=Safety%20Information/For%20consumers/Fire%20&%20safety%20equipment/Smoke%20alarms/Smoke%20alarm%20safety%20tips]. 


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It depends.  (Don't you love when answers to code interpretations results in "it depends"?)

NFPA 80, 2013, is an installation standard and for the most part is applicable to new installations only.  As an installation standard, it is often referenced by model building and life safety codes.  The edition referenced by the adopted codes is required for compliance. It is not the intent of the document that all existing installations meet the new criteria for installation unless the existing situation involves a hazardous situation as determined by the AHJ.  Section 1.3 of the standard clearly states the following:

1.3 Retroactivity.
1.3.1 This standard is based on product and engineering practices recognized as acceptable at the date of issue.
1.3.2 Unless otherwise noted, it is not intended that the provisions of this document be applied to facilities, equipment, structures, or installations that were existing or approved for construction
or installation prior to the effective date of the document.
1.3.3 In those cases where it is determined by the AHJ that the existing situation involves a distinct hazard to life or property, retroactive application of the provisions of this document shall be permitted.

But why "it depends" you ask?   Chapter 5 for the inspection, testing, and maintenace of fire doors, fire windows, and fire shutters, is applicable to BOTH new and existing installations.  In fact, section 5.1.1.2 clearly states that  "The requirements of this chapter shall apply to new and existing installations...", just in case you forget.

Chapter 5 covers field modifications, general maintenance, repairs, acceptance testing, periodic inspections, and record keeping for all required inspections and tests. 

More on Chapter 5 requirements to come...

Building fire flow requirements for fire department suppression operations are based on decades‐old criteria (ISO guidelines). Over the years, building construction methods, building contents (e.g., furnishings), and fire suppression equipment and tactics have all changed. It is unclear whether current fire flow methodologies are appropriate for today’s built environment.

The Foundation has initiated a new project to take a look at available information on fire flow and the historical basis for it assess the appropriateness of current criteria for today's fire fighting operations.

O'ConnorThe NFPA Board of Directors has appointed new member, Daniel J. O'Connor of Glenview, Ill., to serve on its Standards Council through December 2013. This appointment fills the vacancy left by the late David Demers.

O'Connor, P.E. earned his Master of Science degree in fire protection engineering at the University of Maryland and is a registered professional engineer in Illinois. Currently, he is the Chief Technical Officer of Aon Fire Protection Engineering, Chair of the Technical Committee on Initiating Devices for Fire Alarm and Signaling Systems (NFPA 72); O'Connor is Chair of the SFPE Task Group on Human Behavior; Co-Chair of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats (CTBUH) Fire Safety Working Group; and a member of numerous other NFPA Committees.

The NFPA Standards Council is a 13 member body that is charged with overseeing the NFPA codes and standards making process. Generally, the duties of the Council include supervising activities related to NFPA codes and standards development, acting as administrator of rules and regulations, and serving as an appeals body.

Domino'sThis March, remember to turn your clocks forward and check your smoke alarms, because there might be a free pizza in it for you. Domino’s and NFPA are partnering up to promote home fire safety this spring, using Domino’s box toppers to convey electrical safety tips.

Participating Domino’s stores will also work in conjunction with local fire departments to deliver pizzas in fire engines. The firefighters will check the smoke alarms in the residence. If all alarms are working, the pizza is on the house. If not, they will replace the batteries or the entire smoke alarm and leave the homes better prepared for fires than they found them.

For more information, and a list of the electrical safety tips provided, view the full press release.

Brazil nightclub fire
Nightclub fire in Brazil kills hundreds on January 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Agencia RBS)

The recent nightclub fire in Brazil that claimed nearly 240 lives  provides a grim reminder of safety shortfalls that continue to plague  these settings. While this venue was an example of a facility not  adhering to standard safety protocols, nightclub goers should be mindful  of their surroundings and leave immediately if something doesn't seem  right, argues a recent editorial in The Daily Iowan.

The editorial offers a lesson not just applicable to Iowans: the city, it states, should do "everything in its power" to make sure these establishments are code compliant, but it's up to the patrons to be aware of their surroundings and avoid oversized crowds.

"Business owners and city officials alone...cannot complete the job of preventing nightclub fires. We also need help from the bar patrons themselves," states the editorial. "If a place seems overcrowded, get out."

Learn more about nightclub fires and NFPA's tips on staying safe at these settings.

In 1984 a rescuer was killed when an explosion occurred while he and his coworkers were attempting to cut a hole in a toluene tank to retrieve a worker who had died entering the confined space.  The accident, captured on video, provides a graphic view of the hazards of performing hot work around confined spaces. 

This incident was not unique.  Fatalities from welding and hot work are often are associated with confined spaces and the areas adjacent to these confined spaces .  The CSB has identified over 60 fatalities since 1990 due to explosions and fires from hot work activities on tanks, which are, of course, confined spaces.  The CSB defines hot work as “work involving burning, welding, or a similar operation that is capable of initiating fires or explosions. Hot work also includes other activities with the potential to create a source of ignition such as cutting, brazing, grinding, and soldering.”  CSB has released a Hot Work Safety Bulletinthat describes 11 incidents and has concluded that a critical factor in many of the accidents was the lack of continuous gas monitoring prior to or during the hot work activities.   CSB noted that in many of the incidents there was inadequate monitoring not only in the confined spaces but also in the spaces adjacent to the confined space.

 There are many organizations that have developed welding safety information.  Each deals with a particular type of industry or specific work to be performed.  For example, The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has several standards related to welding including NFPA 51B  Standard for Fire Prevention during Welding, Cutting and Other Hot Work, NFPA 306http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/AboutTheCodes.asp?DocNum=306Standard for the Control of Gas Hazards on Vessels (for the marine industry), andhttp://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/AboutTheCodes.asp?DocNum=326NFPA 326 Standard for the Safeguarding of Tanks and Containers for Entry, Cleaning and Repair .   The American Welding Societyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Welding_Society (AWS) publishes a standard, AWS Z49.1 Safety In Welding and Cutting and Allied Processes, as well as numerous fact sheets and welding safety information.   The American Petroleum Institute (API) has numerous standards related to welding on petroleum tanks including  API 653 Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction,  API RP 2009 Safe Welding and Cutting Practices in Refineries, Gasoline Plants, and Petrochemicals Plants and  API Std 2015 Safe Entry and Cleaning of Petroleum Storage Tanks, Planning and Managing Tank Entry From Decommissioning Through Recommissioning.  API also publishes a number of other standards for specific processes that may involve welding or other hot work.    And Federal OSHA has several welding standards and has a health and safety topic page dedicated specifically to welding.

The inherent hazards associated with welding are complicated when welding is done in or around a confined space.  The information available on welding safety is vast, but the connection between welding hazards and confined spaces must be made in order to decrease injuries and fatalities that occur from hot work. 

In 2008 the Foundation conducted a comprehensive assessment of the installed cost of home fire sprinklers across the U.S. 

NFPA has recommissioned the study to review current costs against the 2008 benchmark study to better understand the relationship between adoptions, various elements of cost (installation, materials) and total costs, how efficiency in design or installation may be introduced, and other innovations.

http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017615e6cb09970c-pihttp://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee8ee6dc2970d-pi NFPA70ROCCoverThe Annual 2013 Report on Comments (ROC) for NFPA 70, National Electrical Code® (NEC), is now http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee8ef0a0e970d-piavailable.

This Report contains a compilation of the documented actions on comments received by the NEC code-making panels for the 2013 annual revision cycle.

The deadline to submit a Notice of Intent to Make a Motion (NITMAM) is May 3, 2013Download a NITMAM form (docx, 34 KB)

Outdoor electricalWe've just published a brand new safety tip sheet on outdoor electrical safety!It's important to remember that lighting to improve the look and safety of our homes, electric tools to make our outdoor work easier, and power lines to our home, all need to be handled with care. Here are some examples of the safety tips:

Outside electrical work:

  • Have a qualified electrician do all electrical work.
  • To prevent an electrical shock, make sure all your outside electrical receptacles are GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protected.

Equipment safety:

  • Use lighting and power tools that have the label of an independent test laboratory and made for outdoor use.
  • Keep electric tools away from children.
  • Check lighting and extension cords for damage before using. Replace any damaged cords right away. 

Power lines:

  • Have a professional tree cutting service trim branches that might fall on electric woring. 
  • Keep the ladder at least 10 feet away from power lines. 
  • Never touch anyone or anything in contact with a downed wire. Power lines may be live, stay a safe distance away. 

Download the full safety tip sheet with NFPA safety tips on outdoor electricity.

Presenters at today's Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Conference (SUPDET) In Orlando highlighted how the U.S. Air Force has developed replacements for the fire suppression agent Halon 1301 to protect "hush houses," or jet engine noise suppressor systems.

The need to find an equivalency to Halon 1301 appears to be an environmental one--the agent is classified as an ozone-depleting substance. (The European Union discontinued use of Halon for noncritical applications in 2003.) SUPDET speakers Juan Font with the U.S. Air Force and William Meyring of 3M also outlined the steps taken to phase out the cleaning agent and develop alternative system solutions for the Air Force's critical facility. Read an overview of the presentation.

Related: Learn more about NFPA 12A: Halon 1301 Fire Extinguishing Systems

Gudrun Fay
Gudrun Fay, Minimax GmbH & CO

Gudrun Fay with the fire protection company Minimax presented on the advantages and disadvantages of cleaning agents during today's clean agents track at the Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Conference (SUPDET) in Orlando.

For instance, these agents are capable of protecting sensitive electronic equipment, but their properties present challenges for designers. "To extinguish the fire, the fluid has to change from a liquid to a vapor," says Fay. Her presentation, "The Split of Two-Phase-Flow at Horizontal Side-T-Junctions in Unbalanced Pipe Systems" also discussed the effects of a specific agent superpressurized with nitrogren tested in these systems. View the abstract of Fay's presentation.

 

+ !http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017c37336899970b-450wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017c37336899970b-450wi|alt=Liv Astrid Bergsager|style=width: 450px;|title=Liv Astrid Bergsager|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017c37336899970b!
Liv Astrid Bergsager of Stord/Haugesund University College in Norway+


 

Historic buildings can be a fire risk and pose a challenge for the choice of extinguishing systems. At this morning’s session on Clean Agents at SUPDET in Orlando, Liv Astrid Bergsager from Stord/Haugesund University College in Norway presented an overview of a study that looked at large air leakages in old buildings and their effects on the extinguishing concentration and hold time. The study examined how long the INERGEN (IG-541) (an inert gas clean agent) extinguishing concentration would be maintained in rooms with a large air leakage. Read an abstract of this
presentation
, which outlines the test design and methodology as well as test
results.


 

Related:


Learn more about NFPA 2001 , Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems.

An introduction to clean agent fire suppression systems , a presentation by NFPA&#39;s Barry Chase.

See a list of Research Foundation reports on clean agent systems .

Each Friday I am going to post a quick paragraph or two responding to some of the most frequently asked questions on NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, 2013 edition.  Hopefully I can help answer some of your questions!

First question: Can I put signs on my fire doors? 

Yes, you can!  However, NFPA 80, does provide some specific details regarding the sign and how you attach it to the fire door itself.  Section 4.1.4 of NFPA 80 contains the provisions for signage. Additionally, signs may be installed on the surface of fire doors in accordance with the manufacturer's publised listing.

There are two very important conditions regarding signage on fire doors.  First, the signs are for informational purposes only and must not exceed 5% of the area of the face of the fire door that they are attached to.  Secondly, the signs can only be attached to the fire door with an adhesive.  Attaching a sign by using means such as nails or screws are not permitted as they can, and most likely will, void the label on the fire door and affect its performance under fire conditions.

With regards to where on the door the sign can be located, keep in mind two additional provisions:

-signs cannot be installed on glazing material in fire doors.

-signs cannot be installed anywhere on the fire door that may impair or interfere with the proper operation of the door. 


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William Koffel of Koffel Associates, Inc.




Is the codes and standards community ready for risk assessments in NFPA documents?


 

That was one of a handful of questions posed by William Koffel of Koffel Associates, a fire protection engineering consulting firm, at the Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Conference (SUPDET) in Orlando. Koffel highlighted how risk assessments have appeared in NFPA&#39;s codes and standards  and why it may become more prominent in future editions of documents.


 

For example, NFPA 101, +Life Safety Code+®+, +has included a risk assessment in the document for a number of years, but Koffel notes that the assessment is &quot;voluntary.&quot; Additionally, NFPA 654, +Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids,+includes an optional risk evaluation to determine the necessary level of protection in facilities.&#0160;


 

However, the 2012 edition of NFPA 99, +Health Care Facilities,+ was &quot;the first document I&#39;m aware of that specifically says you have do a risk assessment,&quot; says Koffel.


 

The Fire Protection Research Foundation has developed a guidance document that can assist NFPA technical committees in incorporating risk concepts in NFPA documents. Koffel urged SUPDET attendees to ponder the implications of requirements on risk analysis, such as whether authorities having jurisdictions and code users are ready to take on these analyses.


Standard
for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing,
Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids - See more
at:
http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/AboutTheCodes.asp?DocNum=654#sthash.zrSiAu6a.dpufP


Standard
for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing,
Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids - See more
at:
http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/AboutTheCodes.asp?DocNum=654#sthash.zrSiAu6a.dpuf

 

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